MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. – Traffic on northbound Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona is backed up for around five miles, the Arizona Department of Public Safety reported around 3:30 p.m. Friday.
The back up began around 1:30 p.m., and motorists advised to plan for at least an additional hour of travel.
Bridge work continues
As the Arizona Department of Transportation continues to make progress on the reconstruction of the Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 6 in Arizona, the agency is urging drivers to slow down and allow extra travel time as delays are expected while construction continues through the summer.
Current roadwork is focused on the $27 million rehabilitation project for Bridge No. 6. located at milepost 16 on I-15, around 20 miles south of St. George.
Travel through this work zone has been reduced to single-lanes in both directions with a reduced speed limit. Currently single-lane travel is being directed to the southbound portion of the bridge.
Starting in July, single-lane travel in each direction is expected to shift to the new, wider northbound bridge and ADOT will then start work to rebuild the southbound bridge.
The project includes the replacement of the bridge’s superstructure (girders, deck and railings), as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the Virgin River Gorge.
At the first of June, ADOT completed deck resurfacing on northbound Bridge No. 6.
See photos, read more: ADOT completes concrete pour for NB Bridge 6; Virgin River Gorge speed limits
The project is anticipated to be completed in 2016.
Bridges in the gorge were originally constructed in the 1970s and are in need of upgrades and repairs. ADOT has completed work on three of the bridges thus far, and began work on Bridge no. 6 in 2014.
Alternate route and tips for drivers
Drivers are advised to use old Highway 91 as an alternate route. The highway bypasses the Gorge entirely, intersecting with I-15 at Littlefield to the south and connecting to St. George at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map included in this article.
With limited alternate routes due to the remote location of the I-15 Virgin River Gorge corridor, ADOT urges drivers to plan ahead, allow extra travel time, slow down and drive carefully through the work zone, and be alert for additional construction equipment, crews and law enforcement personnel.
For more information about the projects to upgrade the I-15 Virgin River bridges, please visit azdot.gov/I15virginriver.
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